By Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. ~ 7 min read. 15 Insights on Improving Mother- Daughter Relationships Mother-daughter relationships are complex and diverse. Mother-daughter relationships can be the best ever. If you're lucky, your mom is someone you can go to for support, advice, and a shoulder to. This applies to the relationship you might have with your parents. You've . Ask yourself, "Why would my child make a bad choice? Did I not.
They had been maligning me my whole life. None of this was true. Once I got away, my life got so much better. Family Estrangement in Adulthood ," which describes a survey of over people who self-identified as having estranged from all or part of their family of origin, offers some relevant data: Who is more likely to break ties: How does gender affect closeness?
My relationship with my daughter is now as bad as with my ex
It's more common to be estranged from a mother than a father or both parents. Conversely, it's more common for daughters to estrange than sons.
However, when males estrange, it seems to be more final or longer-lasting: Who tends to estrange permanently: So sons and fathers are more likely to experience permanent closure than daughters and mothers. What about intermittent estrangements? We have some insight into on-again-off-again estrangements, where family members cycle in and out of closeness over the years.
So it's more likely for mothers to experience intermittent estrangements over the years.
15 Insights on Improving Mother-Daughter Relationships
Who is most likely to cut off contact: The younger generation is usually the one to break ties. Over half of people who "divorce" a parent say they were the ones who made the move. Is there any chance the relationship will be mended? According to the parents, yes: Most parents hold out hope that they will reconcile with their child. But according to the younger generation, no: And according to experts like Sheri Heller, LCSW, a NYC psychotherapist and interfaith minister in private practice, "If PD abusers lack the capacity for insight and positive change, it is likely they will persist with predation, denying their perfidious motives, and evidencing an absence of sincere remorse.
To re-engage with this degree of pathology puts the adult victim at risk for regressing into dysfunctional interpersonal patterns, succumbing to guilt and cognitive dissonance, getting mired in confused roles, and being flooded by abandonment panic. For many, this constitutes a deal-breaker which results in finality.
On the other hand, if you're looking for ways to deal with your parents rather than disowning them, read 5 Strategies for Dealing With Difficult Parents.
The British study found an interesting generational discrepancy when it came to the communication of the reasons for the estrangement. In other words, many abandoned parents who are rejected by a child don't consciously know the reason, even though they were explicitly told.
So they either forgot or didn't listen. In fact, they don't even remember the conversation. This disparity only emphasizes the breakdown in communication in these families and suggests that the older generation might not be listening or has a hard time hearing what their children are saying, which is probably at the core of the problem.
Is That the End? In closing, I want to say I am very well aware those listed aren't the only reasons for estrangement, nor will my advice apply in all situations.
I haven't mentioned trauma, abuse, divorce, or substance abuse. I haven't talked about undiagnosed mental health issues or those who simply refuse to take their meds. That said, people don't just walk away from families that are healthy.
5 Reasons Why Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents | WeHaveKids
All families have their issues, but functional families talk about them, try to understand one another's perspectives, apologize for any hurt they've caused or wrong they've done, and truly move forward, beyond all that suppressed anger and resentment.
The exact opposite is true of unhealthy, disordered families. I lived in one for more than 40 years. Sadly, I didn't realize it until the abuse was heaped upon my husband and children as well, but when it became obvious, I demanded that it stop. I tried discussing the matter, only to find myself enmeshed in bitter verbal arguments. I tried using parables and comparisons, pointing out other family dysfunctions and relating them to our own, but that failed, too.
I tried many ways to rectify the situation, but every time, I was met with anger and resistance. Contrary to what they think, I didn't estrange from them to punish them, I did so to protect myself and my children. I realized I had become just like them and I made a conscious choice to change myself and to bring to an end the generations of dysfunction in my family tree.
Sadly, our story doesn't end with a happily-ever-after, but I know I made the right decision, and I know I'm not alone. Every day I read stories, online support group threads, estranged child forums, and talk with people around the globe who feel they had no other choice but to walk away. Not a single one of us is happy about it. Relieved it's over, yes, but certainly not happy with how or why. I'm also privy to the perspectives of rejected parents. One commonly stated complaint among parents who have no contact with their children is that their child's behavior toward them reminds them of how they were treated by their own parents when they were young.
If this is you, I want you to ask yourself, "If my parent was that way and my child is that way, isn't it possible I am, too? They'll reconsider the things they've said and done because they want to repair their broken relationship with their child and are willing to do whatever is necessary to do so. To move away from your parents and live your own life is normal, says Bristow. It can be a sign that the relationship is strong and can tolerate distance.
The question is, is there distance in more ways than one? If you were upset or thrilled by something, would you still only ring once a week?
To Bristow, this is a poignant, honest example of a healthy parent-child relationship. That is called parenthood! You might have kids who share what you love and you might not, and in a healthy relationship you accommodate the differences. What matters is that your bond can tolerate this; that you can argue, make up and still love each other.
The mother is pleased to be involved and enjoys time with her grandchildren. The daughter enjoys the free babysitting. However, these mothers can occasionally feel unappreciated by daughters who are prone to occasionally take advantage. Instead of arguing about something so small, Mintle put the hat on and moved on. Put yourself in her shoes. But a panoramic lens provides a much wider view, letting us see the object in a larger context. Mintle views forgiveness as key for well-being.
Balance individuality and closeness. It can be challenging for daughters to build their own identities. Sometimes daughters think that in order to become their own person, they must cut off from their moms, Mintle said. Both are clearly problematic. But daughters can find their voices and identities within the relationship. We learn how to deal with conflict and negative emotions through our families, Mintle said. Mintle and her mom had a positive relationship but sometimes struggled with this balance.
- Mother-daughter relationships: which category do you fit into?
- 5 Reasons Why Adult Children Estrange From Their Parents
- 15 Insights on Improving Mother-Daughter Relationships
When Mintle was a well-established professional in her 30s, her mom would still tell her what to do. Then, she realized that she had to talk to her mom in a different way. The next night her mom said the same thing, Mintle used humor: Moms and daughters disagree on many topics, such as marriage, parenting and career, and they usually try to convince the other to change those opinions, Cohen-Sandler said.
Moms feel threatened and rejected that their daughters are making different decisions. Daughters think their moms disapprove of them and get defensive. Stick to the present.